Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Potato Salad

This potato salad recipe is modified from The Summer Book by Susan Branch and it is refreshing and tasty!

I was never a potato salad fan until this recipe came along and it is tried and true!

Potato Salad

7 large potatoes
9 eggs
2 cups Helman's mayonaise (I use Light)
1 3/4 cup red onion, minced
3/4 cup sweet pickle relish (or to taste)
3-4 stalks celery, diced
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh dill, chopped
Chopped green onion, if desired

Peel potatoes, cut in quarters and boil until tender. Hard boil the eggs, peel them and place 7 of them in a bowl and mash (leave a bit chunky). Save the other two for garnish. Drain the potatoes and cut in small pieces and combine with the
eggs, onion, sweet pickle relish, celery and pepper, gently stir to combine. Chill~

At serving time, slice the remaining two eggs and garnish the top~then sprinkle with freshly chopped dill and sliced green onion.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rhubarb Pie

A few years ago I transplanted a couple of rhubarb "clumps" from Uncle Alfred's famous rhubarb garden and it is always a joy when I can go out to my little garden and reminisce of days gone by!

People would stop by Uncle Alfred's and ask if they could purchase rhubarb and of course he just gave it away...it grew along the barn and was visible from the highway.

As I recall, the rhubarb was generally referred to as pie plant...how appropriate!

Rhubarb Pie:

Pastry for a 9" pie

1 2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
4 cups rhubarb, cut in 1/2" pcs.
2 tablespoons butter

Prepare your favorite pastry (2 crust)

Stir together sugar, flour, and orange peel. Turn half of the rhubarb into pastry line pie pan; sprinkle with half the sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining rhubarb and sugar mixture; dot top with butter. Cover with top crust which has slits cut into it, seal and flute. Sprinkle top with sugar.

Cover edge with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning (remove foil the last 20 minutes or so).

Bake 40-50 minutes at 425 degrees or until juice begins to bubble through the slits.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Classy Carrots

I prepared some carrots for dinner recently and decided they needed to be a bit classy because other than a serving of panko covered chicken, that was it!!!

I cooked the carrots crisp/tender, drained them, returned to the pan and added a little butter and a bit of brown sugar, stirring to melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat and place on serving plate or in bowl, if desired. What else could I do to class them up a notch...pecans, goat cheese and chopped fresh dill, of course!

Perfect combination and we will be serving this frequently!

Linked to Fun With Food at Paisley Passions

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Apricot & Goat Cheese Appetizers

Looking for a unique appetizer recipe?
This may be just the ticket, especially if you like goat cheese, apricots, and nuts!

The shimmer comes from honey which makes anything special!

The chopped basil just adds a bit of color and of course a nice fresh minty taste.

And did I mention this recipe is quick and easy to prepare? Takes only a few minutes of your time!

Apricot & Goat Cheese Appetizer:

4 oz. goat cheese at room temperature
2 tsp. whole milk or cream
40 dried apricots
40 nuts (pecans & almonds work well)
Honey, for drizzling
Chopped basil to taste (4 large leaves or so)

Mix together goat cheese and cream (or milk)...spread mixture on dried apricots.

Toast the nuts for a few minutes and place warm nut on top of the goat cheese.

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chopped, fresh basil.

These little bites look pretty on a doily covered plate...enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

We celebrated Father's Day yesterday, June 18th, 2011 and it was special for all of us but particularly for Ben and Tyler!

Both Ben and I continue to miss our own special father's but we know they are watching over us and realize the love we have for them. We are so thankful that they set such great examples for us and loved us unconditionally!!!

Ben loves to fish and in fact did so on Saturday morning...so these cupcakes were just perfect for the occasion...at least he caught a fish on land!!!

The fish poles are simply skewers that I cut off a little so they would be the right size for the cupcakes. Little gummy fish or Swedish fish can be used. With carpet thread and a darning needle just "sew" through the eye area of fish and tie in a knot...then wrap the remaining thread around the upper part of pole and tie tightly. The fish should hang down an inch or two.

I made white cupcakes and frosted them with buttercream frosting (tinted blue) and sprinkled the tops with edible glitter.

Some time ago I made cupcake pedestals and they were perfect for the fishy cupcakes...the hanging fish were free to hang!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumb Bars

I have a little rhubarb cookbook and decided to try this particular recipe...I really wanted to make a pie but it was so hot and humid that I decided on something quick and easy!

This doesn't come close to a rhubarb pie but it was good just the same!

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumb Bars

1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 pound strawberries, sliced 1/4" thick (good Michigan berries would surely make this top-notch)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (Madagascar)


1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups four

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Lightly butter and flour the parchment paper.

Mix together the butter, brown sugar, and salt for the streusel and then add the flour, mixing with a fork to create large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup flour. Sift together remaining flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour just until incorporated.

Spread batter in prepared pan and top with rhubarb mixture and then sprinkle on the streusel topping.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan and then remove using the sides of overhanging parchment paper.

Whip some cream (add granulated sugar or powdered sugar to sweeten and a little vanilla if desired).

Cut the bars into nice sized pieces and garnish with whipped cream, a sprig of fresh mint and sprinkle with powdered sugar...Yum!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Asparagus Tart

Hands down, Ben's favorite vegetable is asparagus and I am always on the hunt for another recipe that contains the spring time veggie!
Pictured above is the tart prior to baking!

I stumbled upon this asparagus recipe in a newspaper and give it a thumbs up for sure! It is relatively quick and easy which is a bonus!

Puff pastry is a favorite at our house and as I mentioned asparagus tops my husband's list of veggies! Beyond those ingredients you have ricotta and either Parmigiano Reggiano OR Pecorino Romano...oh my!

As always, the puff pastry does it's thing by being beautiful and tasty with no effort by the home cook!

Asparagus Tart

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped finely
1 pound asparagus
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
1/2 cup Ricotta
1/2 cup shredded cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1/2 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Heat olive oil in saute' pan, add shallot and saute' for a couple of minutes over medium heat.
Wash and trim asparagus (cut in 4" pieces)
Add the asparagus to the pan with shallots and cook until crisp-tender
Remove the shallot/asparagus mixture to a paper towel lined plate to drain the extra olive oil.
Roll the pastry to a 10 X 16 inch rectangle on a sheet of parchment paper that has been dusted with a small amount of flour. Transfer the parchment paper to a large cookie sheet (with pastry).
Spread Ricotta evenly on pastry up to an inch from the edge-place asparagus mixture on top of Ricotta and sprinkle your choice of shredded cheese over all. Top with salt and pepper!
Brush edge of pastry lightly with the beaten egg/water mixture.
Bake until pastry is lightly golden!

I hope you enjoy this tart!